Happy 15th Birthday, Joell!

A very happy birthday to our grandson Joell. The Babe, (a/k/a Grandpa) is in Maryland celebrating with part of the family this Thanksgiving. Because he’s been filing live reports since he arrived Wednesday, we have up to the minute photos and feedback. It does everyone good to remind ourselves how important we all are to each other. I stayed home with the dogs and the two quilts I need to finish for Christmas and mail off to Colorado. Busy time for sure.

We haven’t seen Joell for a year, and at that time were sure shocked to see the result of his growth spurt. His voice emits from his feet, I swear. I imagine it’s deeper now. He is a competition swimmer, so he has a swimmer’s body, lean but muscular, and so strong! His passion for swimming was nothing compared to his passion for mountain biking. He is in races every weekend, holiday, and special occasion. His dad describes him as a beast. I do believe that’s a great word.

Beast aside, Joell has always had such a kind heart. Since he was a little boy, he’s helped the underdog feel superior, the left out feel part of the family, and everyone feels his love. I cannot wait to see how far he goes, armed with life experiences that no one his age has. He’s been to Hawaii for Christmas several times, has seen the Pope’s motorcade, and has visited the White House on numerous occasions. The list is much longer and even more distinguished. You could probably make a movie about it and keep the interest of a varied audience.

Joell, we are so proud of you. The man you are becoming is just around the corner. You will continue to shine as a good human, son, grandson, cousin, nephew, student, and especially friend. The picture below shows his workbench in the family garage. He has become pretty proficient at servicing his mountain bike. The neighborhood kids have an additional bonus to his friendship; he can fix their bikes with some expertise many of their dad’s don’t have. Way to go, kiddo! It’s been a joy being with you for all the birthdays we’ve been able to travel to your home to celebrate you! You know how Miss Kathy loves birthdays. And yours holds many, many special memories for us all. I’ve loved watching your parents decorate the dining room for your parties over the years. They have just as much fun and excitement as you have!

Enjoy the photo collage below. It’s been a hard couple years for the Babe and me, losing all the people we have following the pandemic, and now with the life change of the Babe’s second retirement from the VFW. He needed this reminder that all that is worth it in life is in the members of our blended family. Our five adult children and our five grandchildren are reminding us what a wonderful place this world is during these times. And that is all that matters. Happy Birthday, Joell. And have some cake for me!

To everyone reading, I thank you for indulging me today. Celebrating birthdays is important to me, celebrating each and every person helps them become themselves, whomever they are meant to be. As you have your deserts today, send a good birthday wish to this extraordinary young man. The world is watching him. He’s a good one. Let’s see each other again tomorrow. Quilting and Yellowstone are ahead of me for the rest of the time until the Babe comes home. How about you?

Happy Thanksgiving, 2022 #1141posts, #1000followers

May you all have blessings to count, people to love, and folks to celebrate with. This year is a little different for us, the Babe is in Maryland with Grandson Joell, for the holiday and Joell’s birthday Saturday. I have a quilt to finish and another one to make, so I stayed here. I’m cooking, and my oldest son Frankie is coming over for dinner and visiting. It’ll be nice.

I’m grateful for all of you 1000 followers, after #1141 posts, and we are growing every day. That makes the writing every day worth it. Building that habit has helped get my writing out there, and we’ll keep adding more followers and get those books published. The goal for this next several months of work will be not only to publish the children’s book, but to have a book launch, complete with autographing them to some of my favorite children. What fun!

After dropping the Babe off at the airport, I stopped to see Mom for awhile. She had such a lot of stories to tell; my younger brothers are such good men. They’re helping her get her Christmas trees lit, decorated, and she’s in heaven. She shared last time I was there, it could be her last Christmas, we never know. She is certainly feeling festive. Glad she loves the season so much. She, her mother, and sisters, all loved Christmas and all that goes with it. Decorating being high on the list.

As I listened to her tales of the last couple weeks, I couldn’t help but smile. Memories of previous holidays when my brothers and I all lived at home ran through my mind. I thought of the year she sewed all the Barbie wardrobe for me; the year brother Tom and I received ice skates, and all the years in between. She always put love into the holidays. The stuff that didn’t go well wasn’t in her control. We all do the best we can do with what we know at the time.

Therein lies the rub; if we don’t know any better, we can’t be held to a better outcome. When we know better, however, we must improve the outcome. We must improve the situation, and break the ties that have bound us to the status quo. Time for a new way of doing things.

No quilting took place yesterday, I spent the day in the kitchen. The meals from Green Chef Keto Dinners piled up, and I had three meals to cook off before the produce went bad. Another Green Chef delivery came yesterday, so I had to use up the older stuff first. Today will be devoted to turkey and all the trimmings. Leftovers for Friday, and then, back to the Green Chef. Yes, it should work.

Hopefully, you’ll share some time with family and/or friends today, and experience gratitude. The pause during this fall season is good for reflection and defining how to proceed into the next season of our lives. New adventures or hobbies could await you; reading some books or introspection may offer you some guidance to better spend your time. It’s the time to look ahead, making you the best you can be. Let’s proceed together, keeping each other company all the way. Works for me! See you tomorrow.

Shhh! She’s Fixing the World!

The little lady in this header photograph today may not have access to enough bandages to fix the entire world. Do enough even exist? Will this cause a supply chain issue? Gosh, maybe she should stop. I mean, it’s a gigantic job. And she’s pretty young. Too little to go far alone. Why crush her dream?

Current attention spans aside, she may become bored and stop on her own. No need to crush her dream. It’s so important to let little children dream big. Not that they’ll be the next Bruce Springsteen, Shel Silverstein, or Pete Rose. (Yes, he should be in the hall of fame!) Big dreams help kids investigate how to achieve those dreams. Whether he or she needs music lessons and knowledge, writing lessons and practice, or baseball coaching one on one. Or science instruction, study, experiments. Let them dream and achieve.

Whether they’re male or female, we need to let them find their own way. Then they can fix the world around them. They learn to take ideas and make reality from them. Through creative things, they can heal the world. And show others how to do so. Art and music touch our hearts and make them feel better, from the inside out. All healing goes that way. Inside out. Anyone who heals from trauma and brokenness, including broken heartedness, knows the strength you feel upon healing. That is how we fix the world. One person at a time.

I cannot pass Mother’s Day without wishing the Mom’s out there to have a good day. It can be a hard day. Parts of mine are hard, parts are not. I don’t think this is unusual. Although things didn’t quite go as I would have liked, I would never trade my kids for anything. Raising them were some of the happiest years of my life. Living with their father wasn’t.

I believe a large group of women who serve as bonus mothers who deserve kudos. They’re the women who love their partner’s children because they belong to him. And they love the children. And the children love them back. I’m a lucky step-mom myself. I gained steps when they were adults. The Babe’s two children fit exactly in between my three. Making five kids spanning 7 years. We laugh and say it would have been all over if we’d met when they were little. That’s a lot of kids all in the same age groups!

It would have worked, and our kid’s lives would have been more integrated than now. They don’t really know each other. It’s impossible to get them all together. It’s ok. We get to enjoy them all separately. And we love them, different as they all are. We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. It hasn’t always been this way. It took years individually and together to get here. Take heart, things are possible you can’t imagine right now. And the hard work is worth it.

Tomorrow will be the day I pick back up to get my studio/office back in order. We had two lovely days off, where all we did was see our grandson play ball, and today, where we spent time together at home, ate, took a nap, and had coffee on the deck in the chill of morning. It’s our favorite place in the summer. From zero dark thirty until the sun rises above the treeline, we talk, sit, and rock in our rocking chairs. It’s a daily vacation. Then we live our lives for the rest of the day.

Have a beautiful evening. Be positive. Keep ahead of the bad feelings. Make sure you talk with someone if you can’t come back from feelings of negativity, worthlessness, and not caring. We are human and we have to care. We have to be cared about. It’s what we’re made for. I care. We can walk together to get you where you need to be.

Just One More, Danny Lang

Today is a sad day for those of us blessed to have known a man like Danny Lang. He died at the age of 91. And he lived every minute of his life. Every minute. If you knew him, you know.

You know the stories he could tell. You know the love he had for his four families; his actual family, his Marine Corps family, his Douglas County Sheriff’s Department family, and his VFW family. We could add to those his Honor Guard Family. These families are feeling the loss right now. A man who was larger than life.

You know the respect he had for women. He was a gentleman. He had favorites among his friends. The more he teased you, the more he respected and loved you. He would command the Honor Guard through their part of many funerals. He would instruct you if he felt you needed to be a little sharper presenting arms. And God forbid if you thought shooting from the hip was OK. Not on Danny Lang’s watch. I doubt anyone would ever try it now, either. He was all business in paying respect for a fellow veteran’s life. You didn’t cut corners. Period.

He would stop and ask you if you were ok. If you shared some hurt or difficulty with him, he’d pray for you. He’d check in on you periodically, just to see if you had a breakthrough and needed more prayers. He was deeply concerned about his friends. It was beautiful to have a trusted friend like Danny.

We all remember his friendship with Bob Podany, especially. Can you imagine the two of them in heaven? Bickering like an old married couple. They were the best. And now, we have our memories. Our lives are richer for having known Danny (and Bob). We admired him, learned from him, and loved him. He’s the lucky one. We’re left feeling his absence. But as long as we are alive, we have the treasure of memories and stories about Danny Lang. And the love he gave all of us. Especially if we wore shorts on a hot, July day. There is a small group of friends who saw him in shorts during a trip where he was escorted to a Marine reunion by a group of friends. They all had fun. Especially Danny.

Later today, we’ll attend his service, the dinner, and pay our respects. We’ll thank his family for sharing him and this day with us. And we’ll lift a glass to Danny. He was one of a kind, thank goodness. And we’ll all have just one more, in his honor. The time was too short, Danny. Thank you for all the memories. Semper Fi, Marine!